New paradigm shift

New paradigm shift

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that Covid-19 will soon be classified as an endemic and we need to reframe how our nation should approach the situation now for a full recovery.

Our DG of Health, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah without a doubt has helped manage efforts in the fight against Covid-19 paving the road towards recovery. Malaysians are forever grateful because despite the political turmoil, Dr Noor Hisham did more than he was expected of and some say even more than the absent Health Minister.

However, a fiscal policy needs to be mapped out by elected representatives who understand the paradigm shift.

As the nation work towards recovery and expecting next year’s Budget to focus on the people, there are still dubious allocations such as over RM80 million for the government’s propaganda agency JASA whereas a mere RM50 million for the frontliners who are responsible to keep Malaysians safe and treated throughout battle against Covid-19.

Perhaps even the denial of access for contributors to their EPF under the excuse that it will put their pension at risk overlooks the fact that the people are suffering now and clearly this needs to be addressed!

After the Sheraton Move, it was obvious that the cabinet composition and political appointments to GLCs was a reward for their support. The promise for change that earned Pakatan Harapan the people’s mandate was betrayed and fundamentally it is yet to be seen that Tan Seri Muhyiddin Yassin’s government has presented an ordinary budget for an extraordinary circumstance.

In a recent report by The World Bank titled ‘Global Economic Prospects’, it describes a global economy suffering a devastating blow with the baseline forecast envisions the deepest global recession since World War II.

Countries will need reforms through policies that reflect and encourage post-pandemic need for new types of jobs, businesses and governance systems. Small and medium-sized enterprises have been the key driver of employment and economic growth by providing jobs and growth opportunities.

Startups and SMEs are a core part of the Malaysia economy, contributing towards a huge chunk of the country’s GDP. In 2019 alone, SME contribution increased to 38.9 percent from the 38.3 percent recorded in the previous year according to (IDEAS) senior fellow and Centre for Market Education CEO Dr Carmelo Ferlito.

We welcome the various measures being introduced by the government that will benefit different economic sectors and segments of the society, especially amidst the current challenging financial landscape. However, many are still concerned over issues that relate to supporting the struggling SMEs.

As an impending third wave of Covid-19 is expected, some SMEs are less optimistic about the coming year unless SOP’s are relooked to face a ‘Covid-19 endemic’ reality. While the government is not considering a moratorium extension, the cold truth is that in an Oxford Study it was found that one in five Covid-19 survivors develop mental illness.

Anxiety, depression and insomnia were most common among recovered patients in the study who developed mental health problems, and the researchers also found significantly higher risks of dementia, a brain impairment condition.

The Royal Malaysian Police also revealed that on average 30 suicide cases have been reported in a month since the Movement Control Order was implemented and debts being the main cause of suicide.

If the government does not feel that this fatality rate can justify for a moratorium extension, then perhaps we can only expect MPs to vote with a conscience for the Budget 2021.

 Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak is Perak PKR chief

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of The Leaders Online.

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